I have been burning the candle at both ends. This is the time of year when we all have an amazing load of things to do, and it just seems to get out of hand. For me, it’s not just the deadlines and commitments of work. Family responsibilities increase. I want to make holiday connections with family and friends who are far away. My daughters and husband need the usual, daily things families share. I want to make time for nearby friends and neighbors. Plans need to be made for holiday celebrations. And when am I going to get any shopping or card-writing done? Your list is even longer, I expect.
At times like this, we have to watch that we don’t get swept up in the busyness and activity, and loose all perspective.
I am grateful to take a moment for the Advent wreath each day. We light a candle, and sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel, calling to God to bring peace, presence, and meaning into the things we do. Just this little ritual can transform the chaotic pace of my day and my mind. It reminds us that there is more, so much more, than the things we need to accomplish. It reminds us that who we are, and who we are becoming each day, is important to God and the people around us. Maybe even more important than finding a time to get the Christmas lights hung.
Find your own Advent moment today. Take a few minutes in the midst of everything and just slow down. You don’t have to light a candle. Watch the clouds move across the sky, or the trees blow in the wind. Listen to your footsteps on the pavement as you run, or the sound of buses passing outside. Smell the cold morning air, or the rich spices of holiday cooking. Feel the warm comfort of your bed, or the pricklyness of a pine tree. Taste the creamy heat in a cup of cocoa or coffee, or crisp refreshment of an apple.
God has come to us in the spectacular and the everyday. Look, listen, smell, feel and taste the blessings of God around you. Remember the blessings of God within you. Find a little Advent peace in a very busy
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'”
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark1:1-8
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.